Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The last 8 months with my partner in crime

It’s been 8 months since I last wrote on this blog. And 8 months since Alexandra quit going to Montessori School and started coming home every day at 11:30 after Kindergarten. And to quote what I wrote then:

It means that for 8 months, I'll have to go back to working many evenings. It means that for 8 months, arranging meetings with clients will require creativity. It means that for 8 months, we'll put together a hodge podge of care -- a sitter's going to come in one afternoon a week, etc. It means that for 8 months, my friends and family will be relied on from time to time and I'll be less available for a coffee break or a lunch date. It means that for 8 months I'm going to be juggling a lot of balls.

But, most importantly, it means that for 8 months, our child will be happy again.

It means that for 8 months, I get to spend a little extra time with my baby.”
 And apparently, it meant that for 8 months I wouldn’t write on this blog.

So here’s what happened in 8 months. It took a few weeks to find our groove of being together every afternoon and Alex slowly started to return to being that happy and easygoing child we once knew. She once again started eating, she became less clingy and she slowly came around to sleeping better as well.

After that, it took a village to get through the school year. As much as I said I’d scale back work, business was booming. And as I’ve said before, when you work on contract it’s hard to say no when business comes calling.

And so I have a lot of thank yous to pass around. Some days Alex and I had time to just hang out, and other days friends and family all came to my rescue when I was sinking in work and suffering from a severe lack of hours in the day. And some days, Ryan would come home from work a little early or take the kids out on the weekend for a few hours just so I could get back to work. Working full time with just two hours to yourself every day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be!

But because of the village, some days and weeks I got much more than two hours a day. And on the days and weeks that I didn’t need more than two hours to get the job done, I got to spend time with my baby. And, in a way, the two of us became partners. The one thing I hadn’t considered back in October, was that at 5 and a half years old, she ‘gets it’ when I say ‘mommy has work to do’. She rarely ever complained on the days that I had no additional care for her and after lunch I’d have to hole back up in my office for a couple of hours. She found something to do – which wasn’t always just sitting in front of the TV.

And sometimes, 'my partner' would sit and work with me. We'd print off worksheets from the Internet or simply get the craft bucket out. And while I sat with my laptop at the kitchen table, she worked away as well. 

And I discovered that I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with her. Not that I thought I wouldn’t but despite the stress, the constant time crunch and the feeling that I was always running to somewhere (or to pick someone up from school), I enjoyed this school year. I enjoyed having my baby home with me.

And so as the school year wraps up this week, it’s a bittersweet feeling. Gone forever will be my afternoons alone with Alexandra. Gone forever will be Kindergarten as she makes her way into the brave new world of Grade 1 in the fall. And although I’m looking forward to getting some me time back (and getting back to having more work hours in the day) – I’m also going to miss the company.